The next day I drove up to the shower house and taking my shampoo bottle from duffel bag I realized that soon I would have to buy a new bottle. This caused me to think about little things. Not how they were going to become major anxieties, but the little things I left behind when I moved.
1. Shampoo. When I worked at the Oskaloosa Super 8, the housekeepers constantly would bring down partially full shampoo containers that guests had left upon departure. I took them home with me, (the shampoo bottles, not the housekeepers), poured the contents into several other larger containers and when my supply ran out I had more on tap. In my five years at the Oskaloosa property, I collected enough shampoo to last me at least fifteen years. I didn’t care about mixing brands. I mean, shampoo is shampoo whether it helps dandruff or smells like a coconut. When I moved, I had a container that contained about two gallons and two other two liter containers that I threw out. I just didn’t have room to take them with me. Now I have to buy shampoo again.
2. Candles. I love burning candles. Every three or four months I’d visit Goodwill and buy all the cheap-o candles, use a large one for a base, stack the others as best I could, and create a candle structure from the melting wax. I had a creation three feet tall I had to throw away. It never would have survived the move but I miss it. I still have a box full of candles I bought just before the move. I didn’t throw them away and they’re in storage waiting for the time I find a more permanent place so I can start again.
3. Furniture. Okay, the couch was not so little but I loved that couch. It was my great-grandmother’s couch that survived decades. This couch was a prime example of how ‘they just don’t make ’em that way anymore’. My sister owned it for awhile and then I did. When we moved it into my first Oskaloosa apartment, we discovered about a dozen pens and pencils and scissors within its frame and cushions. Near the end, a couple of the bottom wooden supports broke and the corners of the arms were worn away, but that couch would survive a tornado. It was a real challenge to manhandle it into the second apartment and when my recent moved was forced upon me, I wanted it. I really did. My brother in-law and I couldn’t figure out how to maneuver it around the weird angled corners and I couldn’t remember how it had been done in the first place. So, unfortunately, it also was left behind. I did manage to keep the matching chair but the set is separated forever.
I left a few lamps, a magazine rack, an end table, and two hexagonal end tables because I just didn’t have room. I’ll miss those, too.
The computer table was made of that inexpensive particle board and one of the supports was broken. The table, like the candle creation, wouldn’t have survived the move. But it was a present from my parents and I liked it.
The television console was another item I don’t remember getting up the stairs. The darn thing was heavy and we were afraid it wouldn’t make it back down the stairs. It, too was left. Crap! I mean, my television.
4. The air conditioner. My landlord had wanted to put in central air for each apartment since he’d bought the place. I told him I didn’t need it (because I knew he just wanted to hike the rent. Plus, it didn’t make sense. Scrape the paint from the house and then never repaint, but install new windows and AC units? Go figure. And don’t get me started on his lack of repairs.). My bedroom window AC unit worked just fine and a fan in the living room sufficed. Finally, he got around to installing the central units for each apartment. Mine, he waited until last (probably because in his opinion, I had been a pain in his backside about other things…like repairs). I didn’t care. So, in June of 2010 (I think this was the correct year), the landlord’s employee knocks on my door. He works for three days, puts a hole in the wall, and brings in a coil unit. Doesn’t install it, just brings it up to rest against a wall. Then he’s called away to another job. He doesn’t return until August of 2011 to finish the job…two weeks after an almost month long heat wave. A week after the installation was completed, the landlord saw me and asked me how I liked the AC. I told him I hadn’t used it. I hadn’t needed it. Okay, I used it once just to try it out. Big deal.
Anyway, the window unit became a resting place for Thomas, the cat to sit and look outside. I left it (the AC, not the cat) and probably will miss it if the new place (whenever I find one) doesn’t have central air.
5. Memories. Again, not so little but I’ll miss the old place. I won’t miss the eyesore condition of the house, the putz of a landlord, the squirrely tenants, or goofy neighbors who came and went, but maybe, in a way, I will. They’re part of the experience. And without them, I wouldn’t have characters and scenes to put into my stories.
Do you have little things left behind that you miss?